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Monday, May 26, 2008

Day Two : The 2008 Africa Media Leadership Conference: “Doing Digital Media in Africa: Prospects, Promise, Uganda 2008

Accessing Software from Open Source - the case of Nika Content Management System
Prof Guy Berger


In his discussion, he took a the following key areas :

1. The scope of CMS
2. Tech must be slave not the master
3. Open Source
4. NIKA
5. Lessons
6. Conclusion


CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS)SCOPE


Six dimensions of CMS
1. "content" platform agnostic, "media assets"
2. Databased - searchable, multi- publish
3. A- Z all the work flow not only publishing to the web component which is T-Z
4. Knowledge Management - generation, coding, refinement
5. DRM - Digital Right Management - capital assets
6. EM - Enterprise Management including Customer Management System

STARTING YOUR CMS
You can start small but it is important to have a vision and have the big picture in mind at the outset


TECH MUST BE THE SLAVE NOT THE MASTER

Your strategy must drive your CMS not technology driven
the technology can do almost every thing but you have to drive it in order to achieve your goal in implementing your CMS.
One area is taxonomy which is linked to your strategy rather than technology
Who is responsible for tagging your content? what tags or labels are most appropriate, these questions must be answered in organizing content as part of your CMS.

OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE(OSS)

- examples : Apache, Firefox, Open Office, GIMP, Scribus, Dupal

not all open source are free and not all free software are open source
the key about the open source is the source is available and free to modify
You need in house developer to harness the power of open source
A lot of news organizations are using Open Source such as Dupal including New York Observer



NIKA DIGITAL NEWSROOM ( NIKA means "TO GIVE")

This CMS was developed by Vincent Maher at University of Rhodes
PHP(OSS) and cold fusion at earlier stages (2005)
had a mobile version as well and receiving input from mobile phone as well

NIKA OSS PILOT WORK FLOW 2007
Lessons
- timing and training
start simple function and progressively scale up

TRIAL IN 2008
- Grocott's Mail - replace chatoic folders
Use Gallery 2(OSS) for image management
Still to come for Nika are features such as mobile, social networking, video, etc

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FUTURE
1. Need better management and consultation
2. Need policy on archives, DRM, metadata
3. Automation vrs customizing for web/phone
4. How much complicity and clicks to incorporate in the CMS
clicks before content is posted online,the smaller the clicks the better
some times it took 18 clicks for some system
5. Static vrs dynamic, intelligent CMS
static limits creativity whereas an intelligent can learn and helps stimulate innovation and creativity. The aim is to go for a more intelligent CRM



CONCLUSION
movement to dispersed computing and there is no need to built a lot of online tools now
One idea is to build your own CMS using freely available online tools but the free CMS means not DRM and it may not work well with bad internet connections which is the case in Africa.
NIKA CMS is scheduled to be available for demonstration at Highway Africa 2008 and may be available in year 2009.

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